Accounting for subsistence needs in non-market valuation: a simple proposalJournal articleVictor Champonnois and Olivier Chanel, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp. 1037-1060, 2023

Revealed and stated preference techniques are widely used to assess willingness to pay (WTP) for non-market goods as input to public and private decision-making. However, individuals first have to satisfy subsistence needs through market good consumption, which affects their ability to pay. We provide a methodological framework and derive a simple ex post adjustment factor to account for this effect. We quantify its impacts on the WTP for non-market goods and the ranking of projects theoretically, numerically and empirically. This confirms that non-adjusted WTP tends to be plutocratic: the views of the richest – whatever they are – are more likely to impact decision-making, potentially leading to ranking reversal between projects. We also suggest that the subsistence needs-based adjustment factor we propose has a role to play in value transfer procedures. The overall goal is a better representation of the entire population’s preferences with regard to non-market goods.

Long-term health and economic impacts of air pollution in Greater GenevaJournal articleIrène Cucchi and Olivier Chanel, Journal of Air Pollution and Health, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp. 135-156, 2023

Introduction: We estimated the health and economic impacts of chronic exposure to air pollution for the Swiss part of the Greater Geneva area from 2016 to 2018.Materials and methods: We extracted from fine-scale modelled concentration maps for two pollutant indicators, particulate matter PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide. Then, we performed a quantitative health impact assessment of the health burden attributable to anthropogenic-origin air pollution, and estimated the benefits of compliance with the federal Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC) limit values. Finally, we computed the economic impacts of these health effects. Results: Exposure to fine particles of anthropogenic origin was responsible for 7.5% of annual mortality (280 deaths or 5,900 life years lost), for 14 lung cancers and for 68 strokes annually in the Canton of Geneva. Compliance with the OAPC limit value of 10 µg/m3 as an annual average would reduce annual mortality by 1.5% (62 deaths avoided or 1,300 life years gained). Exposure to anthropogenic-origin NO2 was associated with 5.3% of annual deaths (approximately 200 deaths per year). The estimated total negative economic impacts of anthropogenic-origin fine particles were at least CHF2017 1.3 billion per year, whereas compliance with the OAPC limit values would result in annual economic benefits of at least CHF2017 290 million. Conclusion: We confirmed that air quality remains a health issue on which stakeholder mobilisation is vital. Action plans should tackle emissions from freight and personal mobility, heating, industry and agriculture, while seeking to improve knowledge on health risks from air pollution exposure.

Does Affective Forecasting Error Induce Changes in Preferences? Lessons from Danish Soldiers Anticipating Combat in AfghanistanJournal articleOlivier Chanel, Stéphanie Vincent Lyk-Jensen and Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, Defence and Peace Economics, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp. 660-683, 2023

This paper investigates how affective forecasting errors (A.F.E.s), the difference between anticipated emotion and the emotion actually experienced, may induce changes in preferences on time, risk and occupation after combat. Building on psychological theories incorporating the role of emotion in decision-making, we designed a before-and-after-mission survey for Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. Our hypothesis of an effect from A.F.E.s is tested by controlling for other mechanisms that may also change preferences: immediate emotion, trauma effect – proxied by post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) – and changes in wealth and risk perception. At the aggregate level, results show stable preferences before and after mission. We find positive A.F.E.s for all three emotions studied (fear, anxiety and excitement), with anticipated emotions stronger than those actually experienced. We provide evidence that positive A.F.E.s regarding fear significantly increase risk tolerance and impatience, while positive A.F.E.s regarding excitement strengthen the will to stay in the military. Trauma has no impact on these preferences.

Health effects from heat waves in France: an economic evaluationJournal articleLucie Adélaïde, Olivier Chanel and Mathilde Pascal, The European Journal of Health Economics, Volume 23, pp. 119–131, 2022

Background :
Scarcity of data on the health impacts and associated economic costs of heat waves may limit the will to invest in adaptation measures. We assessed the economic impact associated with mortality, morbidity, and loss of well-being during heat waves in France between 2015 and 2019.

Methods :
Health indicators monitored by the French national heat wave plan were used to estimate excess visits to emergency rooms and outpatient clinics and hospitalizations for heat-related causes. Total excess mortality and years of life loss were considered, as well as the size of the population that experienced restricted activity. A cost-of-illness and willingness-to-pay approach was used to account for associated costs.

Results :
Between 2015 and 2019, the economic impact of selected health effects of heat waves amounts to €25.5 billion, mainly in mortality (€23.2 billion), minor restricted activity days (€2.3 billion), and morbidity (€0.031 billion).

Conclusion :
The results highlight a significant economic burden on the French health system and the population. A better understanding of the economic impacts of climate change on health is required to alert decision-makers to the urgency of mitigation and to support concrete adaptation actions.

The path towards herd immunity: Predicting COVID-19 vaccination uptake through results from a stated choice study across six continentsJournal articleStephane Hess, Emily Lancsar, Petr Mariel, Jürgen Meyerhoff, Fangqing Song, Eline van den Broek-Altenburg, Olufunke A. Alaba, Gloria Amaris, Julián Arellana, Leonardo J. Basso, et al., Social Science & Medicine, Volume 298, pp. 114800, 2022

Despite unprecedented progress in developing COVID-19 vaccines, global vaccination levels needed to reach herd immunity remain a distant target, while new variants keep emerging. Obtaining near universal vaccine uptake relies on understanding and addressing vaccine resistance. Simple questions about vaccine acceptance however ignore that the vaccines being offered vary across countries and even population subgroups, and differ in terms of efficacy and side effects. By using advanced discrete choice models estimated on stated choice data collected in 18 countries/territories across six continents, we show a substantial influence of vaccine characteristics. Uptake increases if more efficacious vaccines (95% vs 60%) are offered (mean across study areas = 3.9%, range of 0.6%–8.1%) or if vaccines offer at least 12 months of protection (mean across study areas = 2.4%, range of 0.2%–5.8%), while an increase in severe side effects (from 0.001% to 0.01%) leads to reduced uptake (mean = −1.3%, range of −0.2% to −3.9%). Additionally, a large share of individuals (mean = 55.2%, range of 28%–75.8%) would delay vaccination by 3 months to obtain a more efficacious (95% vs 60%) vaccine, where this increases further if the low efficacy vaccine has a higher risk (0.01% instead of 0.001%) of severe side effects (mean = 65.9%, range of 41.4%–86.5%). Our work highlights that careful consideration of which vaccines to offer can be beneficial. In support of this, we provide an interactive tool to predict uptake in a country as a function of the vaccines being deployed, and also depending on the levels of infectiousness and severity of circulating variants of COVID-19.

Des impacts sanitaires du changement climatique déjà bien visibles : l’exemple des canicules:Journal articleLucie Adélaïde, Olivier Chanel and Mathilde Pascal, Annales des Mines - Responsabilité et environnement, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp. 42-47, 2022

Le changement climatique, la perte de la biodiversité et l’altération globale de l’environnement détériorent la santé des populations. Plus particulièrement, l’augmentation des périodes marquées par des températures élevées et leur persistance pourraient constituer un risque majeur pour une large part de la population et limiter drastiquement l’activité humaine. Pourtant, les vagues de chaleur sont sous-représentées dans les analyses des événements météorologiques extrêmes, en particulier dans les évaluations économiques. Ce manque d’études, associé à la faible perception par la population du risque lié à la chaleur, limite la mise en place de mesures d’adaptation, alors que les effets des canicules sont en grande partie évitables. Cet article présente l’évolution de l’impact économique global des effets sanitaires des vagues de chaleur observées en France entre 1974 et 2020.

Do differences in brute luck influence preferences for redistribution in favour of the environment and health?Journal articleOlivier Chanel and Pavitra Paul, Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 1-9,, 2022

Redistributive justice is based on the premise that it is unfair for people to be better or worse off relative to others simply because of their fortune or misfortune. It assumes equal opportunities arising from four factors: social circumstances, effort, option luck and brute luck. This paper seeks to investigate how differences in perceived brute luck influence individual preferences for redistribution in favour of two public policies: “health intervention” and “environmental actions”. These policies are viewed somewhat differently: the environment is considered a pure “public good” and health, more as a “private good” with a strong public good element. Consequently, potential self-serving biases inherent in the preferences for redistributive policies are expected to differ, more likely favouring health than the environment. The perceived degree of brute luck may capture such a difference—those perceiving themselves as luckiest should be less amenable to redistribution in favour of health than the unluckiest. Data from the three waves (2000, 2006 and 2008) of a French population survey are used to examine this self-serving bias. A Generalised Ordered Logit (GOL) model is found to be statistically more relevant compared to other logistic regression models (multinomial and ordered). We find that a perceived low degree of brute luck is significantly associated with a decreased preference of redistributive environmental policies but the reverse is true for redistributive health policies, i.e., association with an increased preference. Assuming that all inequalities due to differing luck are unjust, this empirical validation gives redistributive justice grounds for equalisation policies regarding health.

Estimating willingness to pay for public health insurance while accounting for protest responses: A further step towards universal health coverage in Tunisia?Journal articleMohammad Abu-Zaineh, Olivier Chanel and Khaled Makhloufi, The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp. 2809-2821, 2022

Developing countries face major challenges in implementing universal health coverage (UHC): a widespread informal sector, general discontent with rising economic insecurity and inequality and the rollback of state and public welfare. Under such conditions, estimating the demand for a health insurance scheme (HIS) on voluntary basis can be of interest to accelerate the progress of UHC-oriented reforms. However, a major challenge that needs to be addressed in such context is related to protest attitudes that may reflect, inter alia, a null valuation of the expected utility or unexpressed demand.
We propose to tackle this by applying a contingent valuation survey to a non-healthcare-covered Tunisian sample vis-à-vis joining and paying for a formal HIS. Our design pays particular attention to identifying the nature of the willingness-to-pay (WTP) values obtained, distinguishing genuine null values from protest values. To correct for potential selection issues arising from protest answers, we estimate an ordered-Probit-selection model and compare it with the standard Tobit and Heckman sample selection models.
Our results support the presence of self-selection and, by predicting protesters' WTP, allow the “true” sample mean WTP to be computed. This appears to be about 14% higher than the elicited mean WTP.
The WTP of the poorest non-covered respondents represents about one and a half times the current contributions of the poorest formal sector enrolees, suggesting that voluntary participation in the formal HIS is feasible.

Impact of COVID-19 Activity Restrictions on Air Pollution: Methodological Considerations in the Economic Valuation of the Long-Term Effects on MortalityJournal articleOlivier Chanel, Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Issue 534-35, pp. 103-118, 2022

Cet article propose une approche intégrant le temps de latence dans le processus d’évaluation de la mortalité de long terme et dans sa valorisation économique, suite à un choc transitoire. Il l’applique aux conséquences des restrictions d’activité en lien avec la Covid‑19 au printemps 2020 sur la pollution de l’air ambiant en France. Ces conséquences sont évaluées en termes d’années de vie gagnées (AVG) ainsi qu’en termes monétaires pour deux indicateurs de pollution de l’air. Cette approche est comparée à une estimation standard par différence. Elle conduit à des résultats inférieurs d’un facteur 3.7 à 5.5 pour les AVG et, du fait de l’influence additionnelle de l’actualisation, à une valorisation économique inférieure d’un facteur 4.7 à 6.9. Ces résultats indiquent qu’une évaluation adaptée des bénéfices sanitaires de long terme, puis leur traduction en termes monétaires, est essentielle pour comparer les conséquences à long terme de politiques ou de chocs exogènes transitoires.

Environmental costs of the global job market for economistsJournal articleAlberto Prati, Olivier Chanel and Morgan Raux, CentrePiece LSE-UKRI, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp. 9-11, 2022